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What is Montessori Education?

Montessori education is a method of individualized learning that allows each child to make creative choices in how he or she discovers the people, places and knowledge of the world.


Montessori emphasizes:

  • hands-on learning
  • self expression
  • collaborative play in a beautifully prepared environment of:
  • love
  • respect
  • peace
  • and joy!

As a result, the Montessori educated child becomes confident, competent, good at life, and good at doing things.

Where did Montessori Originate?

One hundred years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori, a physician and psychologist in Italy, impacted the worldwide educational community with her research and work with children.  She discovered methodologies that succeed because they draw from principles of the natural development of the child’s mind while adapting to the needs of the individual child regardless of level of ability, learning style, or social maturity.  The Montessori approach to education is now more prevalent than ever before and continues to be respected and practiced internationally.

Why does it work?

The transformation of children from birth to adulthood occurs through a series of developmental periods.  The focus of Montessori education changes in scope and manner to meet the child’s changing needs and interests.

  • The first plane of development occurs from birth to age six (primary).  At this age, children are sensorial explorers, studying every aspect of their environment, their language and their culture through use of their senses.
  • From ages 6 through 12 (elementary), children become conceptual explorers.  They develop new powers of abstraction and imagination and apply their knowledge to further discover and expand their world.
  • The years between 12 and 18 (middle and high school) see the children become humanistic explorers, seeking to understand their place in society and their opportunity to contribute to it.
  • From 18 to 24, as young adults, they become specialized learners, preparing to take command of their own lives.

The Montessori environment prepares children for each successive developmental plane.  It allows them to take responsibility for their own education, giving them the opportunity to make choices and become unique human beings.

I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method.   – Dr. Maria Montessori


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